Tuesday, March 5

Today started out with 60 mph winds roaring through the campgrounds.  It was my day off but since I woke up at 5:30 a.m. I drove the truck around to make sure no one had blown away or had a tree fall down onto them. We had a group of 99 eighth graders in the group area but everyone was okay. They delayed their hikes for a while until the winds died down a little bit, then scampered off to hike the Chisos Basin.

I helped Jane with a couple of things, went to a snake presentation by one of the SCA’s, Nick, ate lunch, downloaded a bunch of books to my Nook, visited Joy and Earl at the visitor center and hiked around the Daniels ranch area to take pictures of whatever stood still long enough to be photographed! Remember SCA? Student Conservation Association, aka Slave Corporation of America because of the paltry wages? Anyway, Nick did a great job doing his presentation outdoors in the howling wind! We went on a “snake hunt” to find the laminated photos of snakes common to the area and one or two of them had blown away despite him having hid them under some pretty big rocks. He even had a jar of preserved snakes that had all met their demise on the Big Bend roads at night. Very cool!

Tomorrow there is a fundraiser luncheon at the school at Panther Junction then a 2.5 hour meeting to talk about spring break which starts this coming Friday. All hands on deck for the madhouse – or so we’ve heard!

Last Thursday I forgot to note that I went to a Medicinal Plants talk by Ranger Bob Hamilton and drove to Study Butte to do a little shopping, have dinner and go to a concert. I did not get to hear the concert because it was overcrowded and the meal was just so-so, but cow pictures always relax me. Something about their placid nature and calm eyes. . . Starting with a palm tree at Dugout Wells, Ranger Bob talking about medicinal plants and the cows:

s-1a-Palm Tree at Dugout Wells s-1b-Learning about Medicinal Plants s-1c-Study Butte Cow s-1d-More Cows

One day this weekend I was making a round at the group campgrounds and there were 4 vultures sunning themselves up in the trees. By the time I returned with my camera there were only two but they were kind enough to hang out long enough to have their photo taken. 🙂 After the winds died down, I took these bird pictures around the campground and Daniel’s ranch. Don’t ya love the cute green feet on the heron?

1a-Group Campground Vultures

1a-Woodpcker 1b-Great Blue Heron 1c-Killer Heron 1d-Cute Green Feet 1e

Tonight, I’m off to see if I can spot the local bobcat. . . more later!

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